When to Test

Assuming you are not exempt from the EPT or ELM, you should test as soon as you can, after being accepted to Cal Poly.

There are increasingly negative consequences the longer you delay. First-time freshmen are required to satisfy the EPT and ELM requirements by testing or exemption before they register for classes. Students who have not met this requirement before registration opens will find a hold on registration privileges for all classes.

Class registration takes place beginning in early August. This means any test before and including the May test dates will work, but if a student is to participate in advising with their major department advisors, the May test or earlier is preferable. (Summer Advising process and times vary by department.)

Students not testing in either in or before May will need to sign contracts (see below) with the English and Math departments promising to test before Fall quarter begins, in order to have the registration hold lifted so they may register for all their other courses. They may late register for English and Math courses once their EPT ELM results are received if they test in July, (and if their desired English and Math courses are still open.)

Students under contract not testing until September will not be able to take English or Math courses fall quarter. This may negatively affect their recommended course curriculum progression. Students under contract who fail to test by the time classes start will be disenrolled.


February, March, May, and June Exams

  • Results expected end of May
  • Will be in time for advising
  • Will be able to register for all classes

July Exam

  • Results expected mid-August
  • Will not be in time for advising
  • Contracts required to register for other classes
  • Will need to late register or add English or Math classes


  • Results expected mid-November
  • Will not be in time for advising
  • Contracts required to register for other classes
  • Will not be able to take English or Math classes in Fall quarter

There are other testing dates at other CSU campuses in July and early August. It is not advised to test at another CSU after mid-August.

For EPT Contract, contact the Writing Skills Office at (805) 756-2067

For ELM Contract, contact the Math Department at (805) 756-2268

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Contact and Location

Testing Services is currently not accepting reservations for winter or spring quarter. Contact Amy Gode if you have any questions: (805) 756-1399
Building 124, Room 119 (Directions)